The Cat and the Mouse-A Book of Persian Fairy Tales – Editor: Hartwell James


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A Book of Persian Fairy Tales

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Persia is rich in folk lore. For hundreds and hundreds of years the

stories in this book, and many others as well, have been told to the

wondering boys and girls of that country, who, as they hear them,

picture their native land as one of roses and tulips, where beautiful

fairies build their castles in the rosy morn, and black gnomes fly

around in the darkness of midnight.


A land, too, where the sun gleams like a fire above the blue mountains,

and the water lilies are mirrored in the deep lakes. A land where the

eyes of the tigers gleam through the reeds by the riverside, and

dark-eyed, sunburned people are quick to love and quick to hate.


The belief in the “Ghool,” or “Old Man of the Desert,” is still

prevalent in Persia, which probably accounts for the popularity of the

story of “The Son of the Soap Seller.” The other stories selected for

this volume are great favorites, but the story of “The Cat and the

Mouse” is perhaps the most popular of all.


The frontispiece to this volume is a reduced facsimile of a whole page

in a Persian book, showing both the pictures and the reading as they

were published in Persia. The other illustrations for “The Cat and the

Mouse” are copies of drawings by a Persian artist.


“Two friends on one carpet may with contentment sleep;

  Two monarchs in one kingdom the peace can never keep.

  While earth revolves, and little children play,

  Cats over mice will always hold the sway.”


  1. J.


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